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George Washington 

Did Washington 
Aspire to be King 





Governor of Pennsylvania 





To Thomas Sawyer Spivey^ Esq. 
OF Washington^ D. C. 

That fearless exponent of the truth of things, 
who has never faltered to promote the truth 
whether it met with public approval or awak- 
ened wrath ; who, by his writings, liberality, and 
courteous assistance and encouragement has 
enabled the author to pursue the early determi- 
nations of his mind to give this book to the 
truth-seeking public, this work is respectfully 
dedicated by 

The Author. 


During the early part of 1905 there appeared 
in the columns of The Philadelphia Evening 
Bulletin, in that section of the publication con- 
ducted by Mr. Perrine, the editor-in-chief, the 
following articles referring directly and indi- 
rectly to my attitude toward the first President 
of this Republic : 

Mr. Evan T. Ellis submits the following obser- 
vations : 

"There is a large book — size of a family Bible — 
just published. It is called 'Bohemia,' and is the 
official publication of the International League 
of Press Clubs for the building and endowment 
of the Journalists' Home, of which only 500 copies 
are issued, and No. 125 is especially, so it says, 
printed for the Philadelphia Bourse, where I saw 

"There are some 300 odd contributors from 
all sorts of people. Journalists, statesmen and 
actors predominate, and there may be a thou- 
sand or so illustrations, mostly portraits. Alto- 
gether one of the most interesting and amusing 


pieces of literature of recent times and from the 
very limited edition I suppose will only be found 
in libraries. 

*'On page 398 is 'The Passing of William M. 
Singerly/ signed simply A. T. A., and is, I 
believe, the only (to me) anonymous writer of 
the 300 odd in the book. 

"The article is highly eulogistic and much in 
the main as all of us would cheerfully endorse. 
After reciting a number of instances of ingrati- 
tude to well-known historical characters followed 
by a revulsion to the opposite extreme generally 
after the death of the individual, commencing with 
Christ, who, he says, was stoned by the populace 
one day and the next they strewed his pathway 
with flowers and their rich vestments on his tri- 
umphant ride into Jerusalem, he says of Coriola- 
nus that he saved Rome and was voted a public 
enemy, and so on down to Devvey, whom we 
screamed ourselves hoarse at over Manila and 
hooted when he asked for the nomination of the 
President at home. He takes up Aaron Burr 
thus : 'Burr, the patriot, who had stemmed the tide 
of British victory and risked his life at Quebec, 
died alone in the world and misjudged by his con- 
temporaries, and discredited by history.' But 
unfortunately there are these lines that should 
never have been printed, and I do not believe the 
editor of the book ever noticed it. It is : 

" 'Not even Washington (who hated him 
(Burr), because Burr had opposed his secret 
ambition to become King of America) loved his 
country more.' 


"Now, I believe it is a fact that at one time dur- 
ing the nation's struggle for independence there 
was such an idea among some of the young subor- 
dinate officers in Washington's army — ^but it 
reached the commander's ear, and we are told that 
he gave them such a rebuke and warning that they 
never attempted the thing again. I wish I had the 
words he spoke ; as I recall from history, they were 
those of a man deeply grieved and hurt." 

Mr. Arthur T. Abernethy submits the follow- 
ing statement : 

"Dear Penn : My attention has been called to 
the communication of last Saturday in which Mr. 
Evan T. Ellis offers some observations relative 
to 'Bohemia,' the publication of the International 
League of Press Clubs, and an article signed 'A. 
T. A.' on The Passing of William M. Singerly,' 
in which allusion is made to the historical allega- 
tion that Washington at one time aspired to be 
king of the United States. 

"Seven years ago, harassed by conflicting state- 
ments appearing everywhere in Washington's 
biographies, I began a candid and exhaustive re- 
search into the conduct of General Washington, 
and for the past seven years I have continued 
these personal investigations as conscientiously as 
possible to a man of my means. After having 
read every work bearing on the subject which I 
have been able to obtain in the libraries of Phila- 
delphia, Pittsburg, Washington, New York and 
points of less importance where excellent mem- 


oranda of those early days have been preserved, 
and after personal visits to the old haunts of 
General Washington throughout Virginia, Mary- 
land, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and, in fact, 
among his family relatives wherever found, I have 
reached a conclusion which I believe to be the one 
which must ultimately be that of every conscien- 
tious student of history who is unswerved by per- 
sonal enthusiasm and unbiased by preconceived 
notions of prejudice — that General George Wash- 
ington's one prevailing hope was that his country, 
relieved of the oppressive conditions heaped upon 
it by England's incapable management of the 
colonial affairs, would organize an independ- 
ent regality over which, as the leader of the 
nation's hosts, he should be the logical choice 
for king. The arguments supporting this view 
are too numerous for a brief communication to a 
daily publication, and I have embodied as many 
of them as were personally discovered as a result 
of my researches in a book which I shall publish 
within the next few months. This manuscript 
has been submitted to the leading recognized 
authorities on Washingtoniana in a conscientious 
desire that if they knew anything historically re- 
futing the statements made therein they would 
submit them so as to assist the writer in arriving 
at the truth. The leading magazines have flatly 
refused their columns to the author of this 
pamphlet, not with the usual 'returned with 
thanks,' but with the astounding suggestion that 
*if the facts be true they would rather suppress 
than make them public, because anything which 


tends to destroy patriotism without giving a com- 
mensurate return is equivalent to the destruction 
of rehgion itself.' To me it is a pathetic thing 
that within so near a date of the life of Washing- 
ton we should find ourselves unwilling to tell or 
even to know the truth about him ; that we should 
delegate to him a monopoly of patriotism, and 
utterly and ignorantly close our eyes to the serv- 
ices of Hamilton, Jefferson, Randolph, and, as 
a matter of fact, the majority of his contempo- 
raries who served him for his skilful political 
ability to hold the people together in an hour of 
crisis, but who recognized in his individual enter- 
prises tendencies to monarchy which were far 
from agreeable. But we must not forget that 
republics were not familiar forms of government 
in those early days — the colonists had been taught 
for years to revere the institutions under which 
they were born — and were doubtless as patriotic 
in their way as we are in our own. Washington 
knew this, and he knew, too, when he 'declined' 
the kingdom (offered him in an anonymous com- 
munication and by a few military adventurers who 
were without authority) that he was the elected 
head of the Army, and that the recognition of 
any mutiny — even for his own promotion — in that 
moment of the Army's discontent, would have 
been disastrous to his oath of office, his personal 
standing; and since much of the military discon- 
tent was leveled against Washington himself 
(which should be well considered) there was by no 
means any assurance of the permanent or even 
partial success of his individual aspirations to be 


"Let me remind your correspondent that this 
letter (the words of which your correspondent 
endeavors to quote as a refutation of my refer- 
ences) to Washington (which he received in 
1782) did not contain any proffer of a title to 
Washington, as, indeed, there could not have been, 
since the suggestion came without official author- 
ity behind it; and Washington's reply, far from 
being a bold avowal of his refusal, was more a 
denial of the inferences that he had seemed remiss 
in the defense of the rights of the soldiers ; that 
it was a shrewd political side-step from a sugges- 
tion which would have only served to widen the 
breach between Washington and the Republicans, 
and Washington knew that the only power behind 
the suggestion was one of bloodshed, in which he 
did not care to engage in the satisfaction of his 
ambition. It must be calmly recognized, too, that 
at the time this proposition was made the govern- 
ment of the United States was not yet per- 
manently organized, and Washington was the 
head of the Army, in which he was in honor bound 
to maintain the loyalty of discipline; any out- 
burst would have been directly chargeable to the 
Army's head — especially one favorable to the 
commanding general. 

"I send these lines as a partial defense of my 
utterances concerning Burr and Washington in 
the article criticised by Mr. Ellis in your column, 
and trust that in the consideration of any historic 
fact we may ever be led to agree with Cicero : 'It 
is the first and fundamental law of history that 
it should neither dare to say anything that is false, 


nor fear to say anything that is true, nor give any 
just suspicion of favor or disaffection.' 

"A. T. A." 

Professor Brandt, of the High School, has 
made a comparison of the Roosevelt inaugural 
ceremonies to the second inauguration of Wash- 
ington as President, which took place in this city, 
and refers to the pageantry of the one as com- 
pared with the simplicity of the other. Yet at 
the time when Washington was inducted into 
office there were observers who thought that his 
manner of exercising public function was royal- 
istic or aristocratic and criticised it as such. It 
is to be borne in mind, too, that the government, 
as an institution, was a feeble affair, that it had 
existed here for only three years, that there was 
hardly more than the semblance of a national 
military power, that there was not even a Navy 
Department and that consequently it would have 
been difficult to organize a Federal display on the 
occasion. It is also to be borne in mind, however, 
that at the President's birthday, ten days pre- 
vious, there had been a parade of militia, an 
artillery salute, a reception at his house, the ring- 
ing of bells, and a ball at the chief hotel of the 
city. But when the inauguration day came, 
although W^ashington lived only two or three 
minutes' walk distant from the hall of Congress, 
at Sixth and Chestnut streets, he went thither in 
a state coach and six, his person attired in rich 
and elegant costume, and his presence announced 
by attendants or ushers with rods. These and 


similar acts were regarded by his political critics 
as undemocratic. Thus Jefferson, in a letter to 
Madison three months after Washington's second 
inauguration, said: 

"I remember an observation of yours made 
when I first went to New York, that the satellites 
and sycophants that surrounded him (Washing- 
ton) had wound up the ceremonials of the govern- 
ment to a pitch of stateliness which nothing but 
his personal character could have supported, and 
which no character after him could ever main- 
tain. It appears now that even his will be insuffi- 
cient to justify them in the effect of the times 
to common sense as the arbiter of everything. 
Naked, he would have been sanctimoniously 
reverenced ; but enveloped in the rags of royalty, 
they can be hardly torn off without laceration." 

In connection with Mr. Abernethy's remarks 
on the story of Washington and the crown, the 
opinion which Jefferson expressed in his Anas is 
worthy of consideration : 

"The alliance," he said, ''between the States 
under the old Articles of Confederation for the 
purpose of joint defense against the aggressions 
of Great Britain, was found insufficient, as treaties 
of alliance generally are, to enforce compliance 
with their mutual stipulation; and these, once 
fulfilled, that bond was to expire of itself, and each 
State to become sovereign and independent in all 
things. Yet it could not but occur to every one, 


that these separate independencies, like the petty 
States of Greece, would be eternally at war with 
each other, and would become at length the mere 
partisans and satellites of the leading powers of 
Europe. All of them must have looked to some 
further bond of union which would insure internal 
peace, and a political system of our own, inde- 
pendent of that of Europe. Whether all should 
be consolidated into a single government, or each 
remain independent as to internal matters, and 
the whole form a single nation as to what was 
foreign only, and whether that national govern- 
ment should be a monarchy or a republic, would 
of course divide opinions according to the consti- 
tutions, the habits, and the circumstances of each 
individual. Some officer of the Army, as it has 
always been said and believed (and Steuben and 
Knox have ever been named as their leading 
agents), trained to monarchy by military habits, 
are understood to have proposed to General 
Washington to decide this great question by the 
Army before its disbandment, and to assume him- 
self the crown, on the assurance of their support. 
The indignation with which he is said to have 
scouted this parricide proposition was equally 
worthy of his virtue and his wisdom." 

As to the use of the name Republican in de- 
scribing Jefferson's followers, or the party of 
which he was the chief founder, now the Dem- 
ocratic party, a correspondent states his impres- 
sion that there was no such name as Republican 
given to the party which elected Jefferson to the 


Presidency. But the fact is that the name Dem- 
ocratic or Democrat was not appHed to it gen- 
erally or distinctively until a number of years after 
Jefferson had retired from the Presidency. Dur- 
ing his active political career the organization was 
known as Republican in its early stages and also 
Democratic-Republican. The title was intended 
to distinguish the party from its opponents, the 
Federalists, whom Jefferson condemned as mon- 
archical. It was employed time and again by him 
in his correspondence, was common to the politi- 
cal literature of the period, and was adopted by 
all the leaders of the party. In addition the 
societies, clubs and conventions which were in 
sympathy with the Jefferson doctrines were des- 
ignated either "Republican" or ''Democratic- 

In addition to these articles there were 
numerous less important references in the 
Bulletin and elsewhere, and the publication 
of these comments brought me such a flood 
of personal criticism from zealous devotees of 
the first President that, but for a full confidence 
in the ultimate judgment of the American 
student of history, I should have abandoned 
all intention of publishing this booklet. While 
none of these printed or privately written 
communications brought out any new material 
calculated to disprove my personal contention 
as to the attitude assumed by General Wash- 


ington, they did have the effect of convincing 
me that my position was thoroughly misunder- 
stood, and that the impression had become 
current that my purpose was to defame the 
illustrious Washington and to dethrone him 
from his exalted position in the minds of the 
young people of America. 

A very distinguished jurist whose father had 
been at one time the honored Prime Minister 
of a European power did me the honor to visit 
me personally, to urge upon me, although him- 
self a foreign-born citizen of this republic, the 
irreparable injury to hero-worship my attitude 
toward General Washington would produce. 
Distinguished members of patriotic Revolu- 
tionary War societies wrote me, enclosing clip- 
pings taken bodily from rare old works, in a 
friendly and, I believe, conscientious effort to 
disabuse my mind of its deep-seated convictions. 
While immensely flattered by these considerate 
attentions, the fact remains that nothing has 
yet been produced to disprove the statements 
which have been made by the writer both 
herein and elsev\^here, relative to General Wash- 
ington's political desires. 

That the writer ever meant to underestimate 
the magnificence of the part played by the 
illustrious Washington in the construction of 


this republic is entirely disproved by a perusal 
of the pages of this work. To the contrary, it 
must ever remain a silent yet forceful tribute 
to him that he forsook the earlier purposes to 
which his mental inclination and political aspir- 
ations drew him, and "found the private in 
the public good." What I have maintained, 
still maintain, and believe should be the duty of 
all history, is that history must be divorced from 
hero-worship, and the actual conditions made 
bare for the student who would know them as 
they were. It were infinitely more to the credit 
of General Washington that, with a consuming 
desire to wear a crown, he should have yielded 
to the popular clamor and assumed less preten- 
tious yet more arduous duties, as he did. 

The writer may be permitted to add, it is 
his honest opinion that General Washington, in 
desiring that America should have become an 
empire with a king, was far more wise in his 
day and to his duty than his compeers. The 
benefits to literature, arts, and the sciences 
which are vouchsafed under such an adminis- 
tration of national affairs as were those of 
Elizabeth of England and Louis XIV of 
France but minimumly demonstrate the advan- 
tages of a monarchic form of government over 
a republican form. It is not the purpose of the 


writer to enter into an extended defense of 
monarchy, since every student of political 
science may see by comparisons which he may 
make for himself. It seems to be invariable 
that in controversies respecting the relative 
merits of republican forms of government and 
monarchic, one usually contrasts an ideal 
republic with an actual monarchy. The gre- 
garious homo begins his career by forming a 
free republic, until the fiercest savage is either 
elected a chief, or he swings himself into that 
power, thus establishing a monarchy, a dynasty, 
which in turn grows into tyranny. Then, 
tyranny produces revolution, the people return 
to anarchy, and then to republicanism again. 
Thus, in the discontents of human existence, 
there is a constant and invariable rotation from 
one mode of government to another mode. I 
have always maintained (and in this contention 
have had the co-operating views of such 
students of government as Montesquieu) that 
one of the most conservative influences of 
monarchy is to be found in its service in the 
proper restriction of ecclesiastical power. 

Another feature of the life of Washington 
which has aroused adverse comment whenever 
dwelt upon by one less inclined to the hysteria 
of hero-worship, but who loves the truth, has 


been that relative to his affairs of the heart. 
Criticisms have been made against the writer's 
references on one occasion to a current behef 
that General Washington's death resulted from 
an injury inflicted by an irate tenant on his 
estate who objected to the General's attentions 
to his comely spouse. It would be difficult, and 
cruel to cvttempt, to confirm such allegations. 
There seems a widespread opinion to this effect. 
It is generally known that the 'Tather of His 
Country" was popular with women, and 
enjoyed their promiscuous company. But if 
such were the case, it is no reflection either on 
the moral courage or the patriotic principles of 
General Washington. Besides, it must be 
admitted that this has ever been the relaxation 
of soldiery. Heroism has seemed to find its 
recreation in the society of the gentler sex, and 
the men who have maintained the country's 
honor have not infrequently found it necessary 
to look well to the protection of their own. 
Napoleon not only wedded a woman of ques- 
tionable character, but was often accused of 
intrigues with ladies of his courts. Generpvl 
David had his Uriah; Andrew Jackson his 
pretty actress friend; Caesar had his holidays 
with Cleopatra, and there were whisperings of 
his attentions to the mother of Brutus: while 


the roll-call of the military chieftains of ancient, 
medieval, and modern history would evoke no 
end of more or less well authenticated romantic 
rumors. There was never a greater naval 
victory than that of Admiral Schley, diminished 
though its glories were by the divisionary dis- 
cussions between the zealous adherents of the 
two ranking officers into whose hands the com- 
mand of the Santiago campaign had been 
placed. But the Admiral is no less a philoso- 
pher than sailor. One is forced to recognize 
the volume of common sense in his comments, 
made to the ladies who requested permission to 
board his flagship on its return from the mem- 
orable victory : "By all means let the ladies 
come aboard. I have always felt that our arms 
are the ladies' defense and their arms our 

The rich blood that fires the furnaces of the 
martial soul, also kindles the glow on the altar 
of the heart. To dare is to be loved; to be 
loved is to find aroused a like passion for either 
the inciting or some other cause. 

Pope said : 

"Love seldom haunts the heart where learning lies, 
And Venus sets ere Mercury can rise," 

but he purposely avoided any such execution 
of the poetic license against the fiery Mars. 


This peculiarly indescribable inclination of the 
world's heroic souls has not confined itself to 
the soldiers of sword and buckler, sail and sea- 
weed. Milton, blinded to physical things, saw 
his affinity even without the pale of his own 
cubiculum et thoriim; broad-browed Martin 
Luther could not resist the gentle priestess' call ; 
John Wesley had no method that succeeded in 
holding his own heart in proper pasture ; and the 
military spirit will ever dominate the mastery 

When the maidens of ancient days sang of 
the victories of David and of Saul and cast 
invidious comparisons upon the self-created 
style of the elder's warfare, they were but 
breathing the spirit of the air which permeates 
every region, every realm, and every soul of 

In fact, it is to this deferential spirit of 
chivalry that we owe our custom of lifting our 
hats to the ladies. 

In the days of knight-errantry, heroes were 
full-armored in the presence of friend or foe. 
Once in the company of women, the knight 
lifted his ponderous helmet, exposing his head 
to manifest his confidence that he was safe in 
their company. 


"Self-love forsook the path it first pursued, 

And found the private in the public good. 

For forms of government let fools contest; 

Whate'er is best administered is best : 

For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight ; 

He can't be wrong whose life is in the right ; 

In faith and hope the world will disagree, 

But all mankind's concern is charity ; 

All must be false that thwarts this one great end, 

And all of God that bless mankind or mend." 

In these days of peaceful Presidential elec- 
tions, it is difficult to contemplate an almost 
riotous condition in the political existence of 
our beloved country when it was the will of 
those highest in authority that America, freest 
of republics, should have a ruler king. That 
there are many wise and cultured gentlemen, 
born in this glorious country where every man, 
woman, and child is vouchsafed the ease of 
liberty which any prince might crave, who 
even to-day believe American institutions and 
humanities would be best conserved under a 


hereditary titled administration of the executive 
functions, cannot be denied. It is the province 
of hberty that individual opinions may not be 
"embargoed," and America is freest of them all. 
The effort of this paper is, then, not to ques- 
tion the right or propriety of such opinion, but 
to establish the historical fact. That General 
Washington was a brave and valiant officer, 
that despite his unpopularity in the second-hand 
exploitation of his heart's desire to see his 
country installed under the British Constitu- 
tion, the sturdy makers of our republic recog- 
nized in Washington those stern and autocratic 
ideas of administration which were essential to 
the early security of the common country, is 
best established beyond doubt by the unanimity 
with which he was selected to guide the people 
in every crisis. The bare fact remains that, 
stripped of the deification to which we subject 
all our brave military heroes. General Wash- 
ington was a princely, aristocratic, often over- 
bearing, good executive, an autocratic Presi- 
dent, conscious of his unique place in the galaxy 
of history-makers, and a man to whom the 
liounces and fol-de-rol of the regal court-room 
were quite innocently alluring; it must be 
eventually taught our children in the schools, 
and made a part of the truthful history of our 


republic. We have no right to disillusion the 
coming generations in minor facts while we 
deceive them in important individual incidents. 

It is no reflection that Washington enter- 
tained views of royalty; he is more to be com- 
mended in that, having himself fondled the 
ambition to be our king, he should have grace- 
fully yielded to the dominant will of the 
majority. There have been Presidents who 
did not so. Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman, 
stepped from the platform of eloquent oration 
to the broader one of philosopher when he said : 
"It is the first and fundamental law of history 
that it should neither dare to say anything that 
is false, nor fear to say anything that is true, 
nor give any just suspicion of favor or disaf- 

I know there are enthusiasts, men of brilliant 
minds who lived either in the time of, or 
immediately following, the era of General 
Washington's administration, who flare out the 
open denial w^th volumes of words. These 
will be considered, in their turn, in this paper. 

It seemed the invariable custom of Washing- 
ton, when writing of the early organization of 
the country, to speak of it as "the empire." In 
his correspondence with Marquis Lafayette, he 
particularly emphasized this definition of a 


then unorganized republic when he said, "How- 
ever unimportant America may be considered at 
present, ^ ^ ^ there will assuredly come 
a day when this country will have some weight 
in the scale of empires/' When, even after his 
election to the Presidency, Washington was-led, 
like Caesar, through the Roman triymiphal arch 
built over Gray^sbrid^^andespecial]y designed 
for him by jthe loyal-citizens of Philadelphia, a 
civic cro\v^Lj^^:as..rQ£dianically leFjdo wir tm- h is 
bjo vxrfwashin gton, the aristocrat, did not, li ke 
Cse^^ jL. thrust the c rown away, and thus seize 
th^ xnrLsi- opportune moment^ of his history to 
avowJiia iieference to r epublicanism. When it 
is remembered that heTiad beeiTsorely criticised 
already for his leaning toward monarchy, this 
incident is more significant. It was openly 
charged against Washington that the inaugura- 
tion of the "Reception Hour' (which was 
merely an American introduction of the custom 
of European royalty to receive their subjects) 
was another of Washington's efforts at the 
assumption of royalty., Dr. Stuart, one of his 
most loyal friends, called his attention to this 
criticism, and North Carolina and Virginia 
took notice of these "trespasses on royalty's 
ways" and commented freely on the regal enter- 
tainments of Mr. and Mrs. Washington. The 


weak apologists of history, who have openly 
belied the fortitude and patriotic impulses which 
induced Aaron Burr, have never given us a 
clear historical understanding as to why Wash- 
ington failed to yield to Burr the frequently 
merited and often promised military recog- 
nition, and have seen nothing in the factional 
friendship between Washington and Hamilton 
save a "full confidence in his Secretary of the 
Treasury." They forget to tell us that Alex- 
ander Hamilton had long secretly entertained 
aristocratic and autocratic notions of govern- 
ment, — well, similar to regality, if not in 
name, — and that these views were as sweet 
morsels to Washington. Even so loyal an 
apologist for Washington as John Marshall, 
who owed much to the friendship of the first 
President (and who afterward held the impor- 
tant office of Chief Justice), in his able work on 
the life of Washington, "compiled," as he tells 
us, "under the inspection of the Honorable 
Bushrod Washington" (and hence, certainly 
authentic), is betrayed into using this candid 
language concerning Hamilton's attitude: 
"Hamilton is understood to have avowed 
opinions in the convention favorable to a system 
in which the Executive and Senate, though 
elective, were to he rather more permanent than 


they were rendered in that which was actually 
proposed." Views doubtless announced through 
Hamilton as the mouthpiece of the commander- 
in-chief, since Hamilton held his commission 
under Washington and was his aide-de-camp. 
As a matter of fact, Hamilton actually offered 
an amendment to the Constitution, making the 
''tenure of ofhce of the President (and Senate) 
during life.'' 

It takes no sweep of the logical mind to 
recognize that these views, which were objec- 
tionable to Aaron Burr, who had seen much of 
the sufferings of the military at the hands of 
the indifferent government, aroused his open 
hostility. I have found it difficult to banish 
from my mind the strong impression that Burr 
may have written the letters w^hich were circu- 
lated among the soldiers, and which determined 
the actions of the officers in demanding the 
soldiers' rights. The bare fact that Burr's 
brilliant and most painstaking enemies failed — 
with the help of the entire government — to 
convict him of the charge of treason preferred 
against him, is evidence enough to prove the 
shallowness in the charges. If one needed 
further corpus delicti to the suggestion of a 
patient hope on the part of Washington, Adams, 
Hamilton, etc., for a monarchical form of gov- 


ernment in the United States, the Alien and 
Sedition acts, fathered by Adams when he had 
"come into his kingdom," and delegating powers 
which were, indeed, potential and princely, 
furnished them. Of course Washington was 
not responsible for the enactment of these 
laws, — at least history gives no open evidence 
of any suggestion on the part of Washington 
to Adams to rid himself of annoyances to which 
Washington's administration was subjected, by 
legislative restriction, — they served to show the 
outbreak of the fever that long boiled in the 
Federalist blood. Adams's proposition that a 
''balance in government" was essential to liberty 
and the inference that it "could be maintained 
only by hereditary classes" was set forth in a 
semi-official tract while holding office as Vice- 
President, with Washington, and this fact must 
not be overlooked in a dispassionate considera- 
tion of the secret views of Washington. If 
further proof be needed, it would seem sug- 
gested in the celebrated newspaper duel between 
Washington's Secretary of the Treasury and 
his Secretary of State, in regard to the tax on 
domestic spirits, so skilfully opposed as an 
excise. Were there not open and uncontrovert- 
ible charges made by Mr. Jefferson's clerk, in 
his paper. The National Gazette? What of the 


charge made on the floors of Congress, at that 
time, that Washington (and Hamilton) were 
actually ''designing to subvert the republican 
institutions of America" ? It required riots in 
Pittsburg and other parts of America to 
enlighten the first President as to the status his 
position occupied before he receded sufficiently 
from his views to produce an abatement of 

On the 22d of February, 1790, it being the 
birthday of President Washington, a motion to 
adjourn for thirty minutes was only carried by 
an aye and no vote of forty-one to eighteen. 
The treatment accorded Washington was char- 
acterized by the National Gazette as "setting 
up an idol who might become dangerous to 
liberty," and as "ascribing to Washington the 
military praise which was due to others." It is 
a remarkable fact that Washington failed to 
discharge from the Department of State the 
official holding place under his appointment 
who thus boldly described the incident. The 
fact cannot be lightly passed over that Monsieur 
Genet, the French Minister to the United States, 
in the face of Washington's seeming popularity 
with the masses, repeatedly bantered, bulldozed, 
and challenged Washington, using terms so far 
out of the rules of diplomacy as to astound us 


to-day, describing Washington as a "partisan 
of monarchy." Notwithstanding this unusual 
asperity of language and continued defiance 
from the representative of a foreign power, M. 
Genet's public speeches in New York, Charles- 
ton, and elsewhere were received with ovations, 
and his threat to Washington to ''appeal to the 
people against his partisanship to monarchies" 
loudly cheered. Marshall, while defending 
Washington, uses this remarkable language: 
"Writers of considerable political eminence 
charged them (Washington's Cabinet associates 
and Washington) as being members of a pow- 
erful faction who were desirous of separating 
America from France, and connecting her with 
England for the purpose of introducing the 
British Constitution." 

And right here let me interject some infor- 
mation which will serve to disillusion the public 
as to the general view of Washington as Presi- 
dent, and of Washington's co-office holders. 
Speaking of the corruption of the government 
in the years of Washington's administration, 
Senator George F. Hoar, on August 9th, 1876, 
in the House of Representatives, of which he 
was then a member, said: "One of the most 
famous generals of the Revolutionary War, 
whose life extended down to the period to 


which I have alluded, while he was Quarter - 
master-General, was in partnership with a firm 
for the purpose of selling quartermaster's stores 
to the government and making a profit. The 
Attorney-General, and Secretary of State, 
Washington's friend, while he was Secretary 
of State, was detected in receiving money from 
France as a bribe to thwart the foreign policy 
of the administration of which he was a mem- 
ber. Another Cabinet of^cer of Washington, 
Hamilton, being charged with a corrupt of^cial 
relation Vv^ith a citizen, defended himself by 
acknowledging to his countrymen, over his own 
signature, a profligate relation to the wife of 
the person named. Still another Cabinet officer 
of Washington wrote a letter which is in exist- 
ence in my own State, in which he admitted to 
his correspondent an act of personal dishonor 
compared to which the crime charged upon 
Belknap is as the act of an archangel. Wash- 
ington concealed the act of his Secretary of 
State from his countrymen, and accepted his 

Fisher Ames, a member of Congress from 
Boston, under Washington, and afterward 
president of Harvard University, in speaking 
of Washington's times, said : ''Our country is 
too sordid for patriotism. Its vice will govern 


it by practicing upon its folly." Then, to show 
the spirit which prevailed in his own mind and 
the feeling of the administration of which he 
was a part, Ames added : ''Our country is too 
democratic for liberty. To be ruled by folly 
is ordained for democracies." It was openly 
declared on and off the floors of Congress 
that the administration and associates of 
Washington "were an aristocratic and corrupt 
faction, who, from a desire to introduce 
monarchy, were hostile to France, under the 
influence of Britain; that they wxre a paper 
nobility," etc. 

Jefferson, in 1797, in deploring the monarch- 
ical attitude of Washington, said : "I have 
always hoped that the popularity of the late 
President being once withdrawn from active 
effect, the natural feelings of the people towards 
liberty would restore the equilibrium between 
the executive and legislative departments." 
And in 1796, the year previous, Jefferson, who 
had always appreciated Washington's patriot- 
ism and bravery, and who had enjoyed Wash- 
ington's fullest confidence notwithstanding his 
political opposition, had written : "In place of 
that republican government vvhich carried us 
triumphantly through the war, an Anglican 
monarchical and aristocratical party has sprung 


Up zvhose avozved object is to draw over us the 
substance, as it has already done the forms, of 
the British government. Against us are the 
Executive,'' etc. ^'It would give you a fever, ' 
he added, "were I to name to you the apostates 
who have gone over to these heresies, men who 
were Samsons in the field and Solomons in 
counsel, but who have had their heads shorn by 
the harlot England, In short, we are likely to 
preserve the liberty we have obtained, only by 
unremitting labors and perils." Again we find 
this same republican leader, Jefferson, declaring 
emphatically : "That the government has fallen 
into the hands of an English party who are the 
more closely attached to their favorite nation, 
because they are unfriendly to republicanism, 
and seek to assimilate the Government of the 
United States to that of England." 

Judge Marshall, who was shocked at Jeffer- 
son's bold reference to the Executive, said: 
"The term 'Executive' can describe only the 
then actual President. Consequently, it desig- 
nates General Washington as expressly as if 
he had been named." 

Hamilton, himself a most avowed mon- 
archist, and the official mouthpiece of the Presi- 
dent, shuddered under the brilliant criticisms of 


Jefferson, and said : "The Chief Magistrate, 
himself, cannot hope entirely to escape from 
these statements." 

I presume no man acquainted with our earlier 
political history will question the fact that 
Hamilton was the recognized mouthpiece of the 
Washington administration, and that Hamil- 
ton's views were always monarchical. The 
hope of actually convincing, by verbal evidence 
from Washington, that he espoused monarchy 
is futile; Presidents do not, especially those of 
royal tendencies, make practice of miscellaneous 
comment or injudicious public speech. But 
there has been a recognized official representa- 
tive of every Executive who has directly voiced 
his views. Pickering even made the statement 
that Hamilton composed, wrote, and furnished 
the ideas for Washington's letters. Jefferson 
called the administration "Hamilton's adminis- 
tration," and referred to the government em- 
ployees of Washington as "Hamilton's clerks." 

As further proof of Hamilton's thorough 
mastery of Washington, — of his moulding of 
Washington's public expressions and opinions, 
and of Washington's agreement to Hamilton's 
ideas, — thus making Hamilton the official 
mouthpiece, Ford says : "Washington sub- 
mitted not only his plans, but his ideas to 


Hamilton. Hamilton even wrote his Farewell 
Address. Pickering says : 'I have reason to 
believe that not only the composition^ the cloth- 
ing of the ideas, but the ideas themselves 
originated generally with Hamilton and 
Harrison/ " etc. 

Washington wrote of Hamilton as ''my boy,'' 
and while Hamilton often grew impulsive and 
ridiculed and even railed at Washington, the 
intimacy of their association was most pro- 

Washington's apologists have always based 
their defense against the charge of monarchical 
tendencies in Washington on a letter written 
by him to a prominent official of the Continental 
army, in 1782, and in reply to one urging upon 
Washington the ripeness of the opportunity to 
take advantage of the general discontent of the 
army; and the letter ended with a reference to 
the benefits of a kingdom. 

There was absolutely no proffer of the title 
to Washington, as indeed there could not have 
been, since the suggestion came without official 
authority behind it. Washington's reply, far 
from being a bold avowal of his refusal, was 
more a denial of the inference that he had 
seemed remiss in the defense of the rights of the 
soldiers ; it was a shrewd political sidestep from 


a suggestion which would have only served to 
widen the breach between Washington and the 
Republicans, and Washington knew that the 
only power behind the suggestion was one of 
bloodshed, which he did not care to engage in 
the satisfaction of his ambition. It must be 
calmly recognized, too, that at the time the 
government was not yet permanently organized, 
and Washington was the head of the army, in 
which position he was in honor bound to main- 
tain the loyalty of discipline, and any outbreak 
or the mutiny which threatened would have 
been directly charged to the man who had held 
the army in his hand. We must not forget, too, 
that Washington knew too well the prejudice 
of Congress and the people at the time, and 
Washington was ever a skilful politician. 
Hamilton certainly would never have so strenu- 
ously hoped for a monarchy while in the direct 
confidence of Washington, without tacit or 
patent encouragement. Of Hamilton it was 
openly declared, he was "the advocate of 
aristocracy, monarchy, hereditary succession, a 
titled order of nobility, and all the other mock 
pageantry of kingly government." 

That the American public had formed the 
opinion, from his conduct of the "Cincinnati," 
that General Washington desired to include in 


the economic affairs of this country hereditary 
poHtical principles is not to be questioned. So 
early as October, 1783, Mr. Burk, of South 
Carolina, published a pamphlet against Wash- 
ington's foundation of a hereditary order, and, 
despite the fact that feeble apologists have 
endeavored to discredit Burk's exposure as an 
attempt to arouse public sentiment, the matter 
was deemed of sufficient importance to evoke 
from the Massachusetts legislature active 
expression, and, to quote Washington's best 
friend, "it is well understood that in Congress 
the society was viewed with secret disapproba- 
tion." Suspicions of this character do not 
grow up unaided by some evidence of fact; 
the people who revere a brave hero are not 
quick, without sufficient cause, to see in him 
qualities which are so objectionable to the 
principles they have, with him, held dear. The 
real Washington was rather tolerated than 
loved. He was war-mad — a pioneer Roosevelt, 
who suited his times admirably because he made 
military prowess superior to technical form of 
government ; and as that was, in the providence 
of God, essential to the establishment of a 
permanent independent government (whether 
monarchy or republic), men who thought only 
of the "lesser evil" retained Washington, know- 


ing ''Jehovah jireh" — that ''God will provide." 
In an earnest struggle to be free from English 
influences and English control, the Americans 
thought it folly to quibble over the trifles of 
governmental forms until safely established in 
their independence — hence Washington retained 
his control over them. 

Elbridge Gerry, Roger Sherman, Edmund 
Randolph, and Franklin's people deliberately 
and openly despised Washington, called him an 
incompetent general. Abraham Clark said: 
"We have no greater cruelty than the manage- 
ment of our army." Jonathan D. Sargent said : 
"Thousands of lives and millions of property 
are yearly sacrificed to the inefficiency of 
our Commander-in-Chief, though we are so 
attached to this man we shall rather sink with 
him than throw him off our shoulders." 
Richard Henry Lee, John Adams, William 
Williams, James Lovell, Jonathan Trumbull, 
Samuel Adams, Elaphalet Dyer, William 
Ellery, Samuel Chase, F. L. Lee, Madison, 
Jefferson, and even Monroe (who was called 
the purest, cleanest-lived man who ever graced 
the President's chair, and who, poor, princely 
fellow, died in abject poverty and squalor) 
considered Washington "an idol worshiped by 
a frenzied people," and Jefferson, who was 


honest, and the best friend of popular govern- 
ment America ever knew, declared : "He has 
done too much good not to be sufficient to cover 
harm also," and hoped ''his political errors may 
not furnish a second occasion to exclaim, 'curse 
on his virtues, they've undone his country !' " 

The fact is, Washington was too shrewd for 
the early political managers, being in command 
of the situation, and he ever held the immovable 
opinion that he was the government; that any 
attack upon him was a direct reflection on the 
government. This deluded the people; it was 
an excellent idealism of monarchical tendency. 
The State of North Carolina once enjoyed the 
services of a judge of its Superior Circuit 
Court, a Mr. Cloud, who became so impressed 
with his individual importance in the capacity 
of the "Court" that he carried the custom with 
him into his private affairs. On one occasion, 
being seized with a violent fit of vomiting, he 
rushed out through the court yard, and behold- 
ing a number of barristers blockading his exit, 
gravely shouted, "Gentlemen, get out of the 
way, or the Court will vomit on you." In an 
equal degree, Washington shrewdly answered 
his fearless critics with regrets that they should 
thus interfere with the governments sincere 
efforts, etc. He was the prince of politicians ; 


a daring man of personal bravery ; a fickle flirt 
with the whims and foibles of public sentiment ; 
a striker of attitudes in the presence of women, 
and that he died disappointed in not having been 
king in name as he was in fact by virtue of his 
military influences, must eventually become the 
sober opinion of every thoughtful and impartial 
student of American history. 

Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker 



Hon. Samuel W. Pennypacker, 
Governor of Pennsylvania. 

Are the careers of those men who have seem- 
ing-ly fashioned the institutions of a nation and 
moulded the destinies of a race the outcome of 
exceptional capabilities and characteristics not 
bestowed upon their fellows, or are the results 
due to the favorable conditions existing at the 
time the successful efforts were made? Did 
Alexander of Macedon and Charlemagne found 
empires through the exercise of their own 
unusual power of will and gifts of intelligence, 
or were they but the manifestations of a force 
which made the Greeks in the one case and the 
Germans in the other see that if great ends were 
to be accomplished there must be a subordina- 
tion of the lesser states surrounding them and 
a combination of the strength of all — a force 


which impelled them forward irresistibly? Is 
not this a force common to all mankind, which 
has builded up the British Empire and is even 
now building up America, indicating itself in 
the movements of trade and transportation as 
well as those of government? Would the 
Reformation have come in its own good time 
had there been no Martin Luther? Had 
Napoleon been killed on the bridge of Lodi, 
would the French Revolution have followed 
its own appointed channels nevertheless? Is 
Darwin correct when he attributes even the 
slow formation of individual and race character 
to the nature of the environment? Perhaps a 
safe position to assume would be that in the 
conduct of revolutions against long-established 
and seemingly overwhelming power, in the 
creation and development of new governments, 
and in the efforts to ameliorate the conditions 
of the masses of humanity, if success is to be 
attained, there must be the underlying currents 
which make it possible, as well as the leader of 
rare skill and intelligence, possessing the 
capacity to direct them. If this be true, then 
it may be of service to call attention, as has 
never been done before, to the field whereon the 
achievements of George Washington were 
accomplished and to the surroundings wherein 


his faculties were exercised, if not developed, 
and the energies of his public career were 

In the year 1753 the two most powerful 
nations of Europe, — England and France, — 
which had long been enemies and rivals, were 
again upon the verge of a struggle. The 
declaration of war was not made until three 
years later, but the mutterings and rumblings 
were being heard, the preliminaries were being 
arranged, and all men knew that the outbreak 
could not long be postponed. It was a great 
stake for which the combatants were about to 
strip, the possession of a continent destined ere 
long to support a people among the foremost 
upon the earth. Man proposes, but the gods 

When Wolfe died as he clutched his victory 
at Quebec, there was weeping and wailing in 
every household in the American colonies. 
Little did they who lamented think hov/ 
different might have been their fate if that 
energetic spirit, instead of the dilatory Howe, 
had confronted them at Brandywine, German- 
town, and Valley Forge. Never did it occur 
to either of the contestants while they were 
pampering the savages and gathering the 
cannon, nor when they were ready for the 


encounter, that no matter which of them should 
prove the stronger or more vaHant, the reward 
should go to neither; that in the end his most 
Christian Majesty of France must be obeisant 
and the King of England must submit to an 
underling in one of the camps. 

The English colonies were along the coast. 
The French were enclosing them with a series 
of forts intended to run up the St. Lawrence, 
thence to the Ohio, and to the mouth of the 
Mississippi. In a sense it may be said that the 
right of the French line was at New Orleans, 
the left at Quebec, and the center at the junction 
of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers where 
Fort Duquesne was erected in 1/54^ in the 
western part of Pennsylvania. 

What a series of events had their beginnin:-^ 
when George Washington came to Pennsyl- 
vania in 1753! The unheeding world might 
well have listened. A young man in his 
twenty-second year, . of limited education and 
narrow reading, tall and well made, precise and 
prim in his methods, stiff in his manners and 
chirography; with an instinct of thrift which 
led him to manage farms and raise horses, to 
seek in his love affairs, whether maid or widow, 
for a woman "wi lots o' manny laaid by, and a 
nicetish bit of land," and enabled him to accu- 


mulate one of the largest fortunes of his time; 
but ever a gentleman, whose youth had been 
devoted to fox-hunting and athletic sports, and 
who since he was sixteen had been surveying 
lands in the valleys of Virginia, left the narrow 
confines of his early associations and took his 
first step into the outer and larger world. 

Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, sent him 
with a little force of seven men to the French 
commander in western Pennsylvania to protest 
against the building of forts and the occupancy 
of the land. Starting on the 15th of Novem- 
ber, 1753, through forests primeval, in the 
winter, surrounded by and often confronted 
with the savages, fired at by a treacherous 
Indian guide, rafting on the partly frozen 
rivers, he found his way to the site of Pittsburg 
and to a fort fifteen miles south of Lake Erie. 
It was a successful journey. He delivered his 
message and returned on the i6th of January, 
1754, to Williamsburg, with the answer of the 
commandant and with much knowledge of the 
country and of the armament and garrisons of 
the forts. As a result he was appointed lieu- 
tenant-colonel. At the head of one hundred 
and fifty men, accompanied by Jacob Van 
Braam, a Dutchman, one of his former attend- 
ants, who at an earlier time had taught him the 


drill, he, on April 2, 1754, started again for 
Pennsylvania. On the 25th he had reached 
the Great Meadows in the neighborhood of the 
present Uniontown, in Fayette County. There 
he learned that a body of the French were in 
the vicinity. Supported by friendly Indians 
and led by Scaryooyadi, a Delaware, to the 
French camp, through the darkness, he made 
an attack in the early morning. For fifteen 
minutes the rifles resounded and the balls 
whistled. Of the provincial troops three were 
wounded and one was killed. Of the French 
one was wounded and ten were killed, including 
Jumonville, their leader, and twenty-one were 
captured. Only one, a Canadian, escaped. 

And so it came about that the opening battle 
in that struggle of tremendous import, which 
was to determine that the vast continent of 
America should belong to the countrymen of 
Hermann and not to those of Varus, was fought 
by George Washington upon the soil of Penn- 
sylvania. The victory was won.- The pris- 
oners were hurried away to Virginia. But 
fortune does not extend her favors to any man 
for long. The career of Washington, like that 
of most men, was a series of successes and 


'To all earthly men, 
In spite of right and wrong and love and hate, 
One day shall come the turn of luckless fate." 

It was rumored that Contrecoeiir was at 
Fort Duquesne with a force of one thousand 
French and many Indians, and the young 
colonel was in trouble. On the 31st he wrote: 
''We expect every hour to be attacked by a 
superior force." He threw up entrenchments 
one hundred feet square and built a palisade 
with a trench outside, which, because there had 
been a scarcity of provisions, he called Fort 
Necessity. The site was along the bank of a 
little stream flowing through the center of a 
meadow two hundred and fifty yards wide, set 
at a considerable elevation among the hills. All 
that remains now is a slight accumulation of 
earth where the lines of the fort ran and a large 
stone with a square cut in it for a corner post, 
but what there is, ought to be carefully pre- 
served by the State. 

He received a reinforcement which increased 
his strength to three hundred men, and he talked 
about exerting "our noble courage with spirit." 
Later there came one hundred more men, from 
South Carolina. He advanced thirteen miles 
farther in the direction of Fort Duquesne, and 
then, learning that the French were strong in 


numbers and coming to meet him, he retreated 
July 1st to Fort Necessity. Thither he was 
followed by five hundred French and several 
hundred Indians. All through the day of July 
3d the firing was kept up around the fort, those 
within being huddled together in danger and 
discomfort, until twelve had been killed and 
forty-three wounded. 

The next morning, — ^July 4th, — at Philadel- 
phia, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg a fateful day 
in American history, — Washington, having 
signed papers of capitulation, marched forth 
with his troops. He abandoned a large flag 
and surrendered the fort. He was permitted 
to take the military stores except the artillery. 
He agreed to return the prisoners he had cap- 
tured and sent to Virginia; but worst of all, 
the papers he signed referred to 'Tassassinat du 
Sieur de Jumonville." Our historians have 
been prone to throw the blame for this language 
upon the imperfect translation of Van Braam, 
but since the French "assassinat" and the 
English "assassination" are substantially the 
same word, sufficient to attract the attention of 
the most unlearned, the explanation fails to 

The affair, as is apt to be the case when the 
foe gains the glory and the field, became the 


subject of much animadversion. Horace 
Walpole called him a "brave braggart/' 
Dinwiddie reduced his rank to that of captain, 
and found reasons for decHning to return the 
prisoners. Thereupon Washington resigned 
from the service, and went back to Mount 
Vernon, and his ambition to hold a commission 
in the English army was never gratified. 

The following year Braddock disembarked 
and encamped his army at Alexandria. Wash- 
ingfton offered his services as an aid, and his 
experience with the French and the Indians and 
his knowledge of the country wherein the 
advance was to be made rendered them of the 
utmost value. It was the first army thoroughly 
drilled, equipped, and appointed he had ever 
seen. On that fatal battle-field near Pittsburg, 
now covered by the mills of the United States 
Steel Corporation (tempora mufantur et nos in 
illis mittamur), where Braddock was killed, 
where eight hundred and fifty-five French and 
Indians completely routed three thousand dis- 
ciplined English soldiers, he did doughty and 
valiant deeds. It has been described as "the 
most extraordinary victory ever obtained and 
the farthest flight ever made," but in the battle 
he had two horses killed under him, and out 
of it he came with four bullet holes through his 


coat. There are prophets among other peoples 
than Israel. Samuel Davies, on the 17th of 
August, 1755, preached a sermon at Hanover, 
in Virginia, wherein, with less plaint than 
Jeremiah and clearer vision than Isaiah, he 
exclaimed : "That heroic youth, Colonel Wash- 
ington, whom I cannot but hope Providence 
has hitherto preserved in so signal a manner 
for some important service to his country." 

Fortune took another turn. For these two 
defeats there soon came compensation. With 
a regiment of Virginians in 1758 he took part 
in the expedition of Gen. John Forbes, whose 
bones now lie in Christ Churchyard, in Phila- 
delphia, and at the head of his men and the 
army, on the 25th of November, marched into 
Fort Duquesne. The magazine had been 
exploded. The fort had been set on fire. The 
French had taken bateaux and departed. Their 
influence along the Ohio River had been broken. 
The Indians who had been their allies sought 
the favor of the English. And George Wash- 
ington had completed the military training 
which was to fit him to become the successful 
leader in the eight years' struggle of the people 
of the American colonies for independence. 

He resigned his commission and hastened to 
Virginia. Six weeks later, on the 6th of Jan- 


uary, 1759, he married Martha Custis, a widow, 
who was the fortunate possessor of a hundred 
thousand dollars. He was elected to the House 
of Burgesses, and for the next fifteen years, in 
the quiet and retirement of Mount Vernon, lived 
a barren and uneventful life, with no ambition 
save the pleasure of accumulation ; no exhilara- 
tion greater than the chase of the fox, and no 
anxiety except for the care of his herds of cattle. 
How bare and barren the life was can be seen 
from these extracts, showing with what his 
thoughts were occupied, covering a month in 
his manuscript journal from 1767: 

July 14 — Finish'd my wheat Harvest. 

16 — began to cut my Timothy Meadow, 
which had stood too long. 

25— fmish'd Ditto. 

25 — Sowed turnep seed from Colonel Fair- 
fax's, in sheep pens, at the House. 

25 — Sowed Winter do. from Colo, ^.ee's in 
the neck. 

27 — began to sow wheat at the Mill with 
the early white Wheat, w'ch grew at 

28 — began to sow wheat at Muddyhole with 
the mixed wheat that grew there ; also 
began to sow wheat at Doag Run, of 
the red chaff, from home; also sowed 
summer Turnep below garden. 

2Q — Sowed Colonel Fairfax's kind in flax 
ground joining sheep pens. 


A new epoch dawned, and again George 
Washington came to Pennsylvania. A crisis 
big with fatahty and freighted with the hopes 
of the future was approaching. The Stamp 
Act had been passed, and after a storm of 
reprobation had been repealed ; non-importation 
resolutions had been promulgated from the 
Pennsylvania State House, soon to be known 
as Independence Hall, ringing with a bell 
which is only torn from it by sacrilege; John 
Dickinson had written those Farmers' letters 
wherein was expounded the creed of the 
colonies; the tea ships had been driven from 
the Delaware River, and an act of Parliament 
had closed the port of Boston, when the first 
Congress was called to meet in Carpenter's 
Hall, on Chestnut street below Fourth, in the 
city of Philadelphia, on September 5, 1774- 

Washington appeared as a delegate. What 
part he bore in its deliberations it is difficult to 
tell. But he wrote to a friend upon the subject 
of independence : "I am well satisfied that no 
such thing is desired by any thinking man in 
all North America." It was a time of stirring 
events and rapid movements, but men held fast 
to the old moorings so long as they could. A 
few months later the muskets began to rattle at 


Lexington, and on the 15th of June, 1775, the 
Second Continental Congress, to which he was 
delegate, assembled in the State House. One 
of their first acts was to determine ''that a 
general be appointed to command all the Con- 
tinental forces raised or to be raised in the 
defense of American liberty," and by a unani- 
mous vote in that famed Pennsylvania hall the 
heaviest responsibility which had ever fallen to 
the lot of an American was imposed upon 
George Washington. The next day in the 
same place, declaring: "I feel great distress 
from a consciousness that my abilities and 
military experience may not be equal to the 
extensive and important trust," and that "no 
pecuniary compensation could have tempted me 
to accept this arduous employment," declining 
the sum which had been fixed for his salary, 
with modest words and a serious sense of the 
difficultiei he was about to encounter, he 
assumed that responsibility and started forth, 
like Moses of old, to lead his people through 
the Red Sea of war and the wilderness of 
uncertainty and suffering. Unlike the prophet 
and law-giver of Israel, and unlike his own 
prototype, William of Orange, he was destined 
not only to see from afar, but to enter into the 


land of promise and safety. The war upon 
which he then embarked was to endure through 
eight dreary years. 

Philadelphia was then not only the chief city 
of the colonies, the center of science, art, and 
literature, and population, but the seat of the 
revolutionary government and the place where 
the Continental Congresses held their sessions. 
It was believed by the revolutionists that the 
retention of the possession of the city was 
essential to the success of their cause. The 
Royalists believed that if it could be captured 
the war would be speedily terminated and the 
rebellion end in an early dissolution. A few 
opening and indecisive contests of arms 
occurred in Massachusetts, but the struggle ere 
long drifted to the shores of the Delaware, and 
the Continental army never thereafter was 
farther east than the Hudson. In the course 
of the war nine battles were fought by the army 
under personal com.mand of Washington, and 
with the exception of Long Island, which was 
an unrelieved disaster, and Yorktown, where it 
was uncertain whether the laurels ought to 
cluster about the French fleet or the American 
land forces, all of them — Trenton, Princeton, 
Brandywine, Warren Tavern, Germantown, 


Whitemarsh, and Monmouth — were conflicts 
the purpose of which was to control or defend, 
to secure or retain, the city of Philadelphia. 

At Brandywine there was presented to him the 
great opportunity of his military career, when 
the enemy, of their own motion, brought about 
the situation which it was the object of the 
tactics of Napoleon to secure, and divided their 
forces in front of him. At Warren Tavern his 
plans were thwarted and his opportunities and 
advantages lost through what the lawyer calls 
the act of God. At Trenton and Germantown 
he displayed not only the courage and resolu- 
tion bred in his Saxon fibre, but that other 
quality more often found in the Celt, "laudacc 
toiijours laudace.'' At Whitemarsh he boldly 
approached within a few miles of the enemy, 
who then held the city; defeated attacks upon 
his right, left, and center, compelling Howe to 
withdraw, discomfited, and won, though with 
small loss, his greatest tactical success. 

The issues of the Revolutionary War were 
determined, however, not by the effective hand- 
ling of large armies with consummate skill, 
not by the exercise of that military genius 
which enabled a Marlborough, a Frederick, or 
a Bonaparte to see just when and where to 
strike to the best advantage, but by that tireless 


tenacity of purpose which, through success or 
disaster, never flagged and, whatever fate might 
have in store, refused to be overcome. All the 
poets who have sung their verse, all the histor- 
ians v/ho have written their books, whatever 
students may have investigated, and whatever 
orators may have spoken, agree in the conclu- 
sion that such tenacity was best exemplified at 
the close of the lost campaign, with a weakened 
and dwindling army, through the sufferings of 
a severe winter upon the hills of Valley Forge. 

Wherever the story is read, wherever the tale 
is told, the pluck and persistence, amid mis- 
fortune and disheartening want, exhibited at 
this Pennsylvania hamlet along the banks of the 
Schuylkill, have come to be the type and symbol 
of the Revolutionary War and to represent the 
supreme effort and the unconquerable fortitude 
of the American soldier. 

In a German almanac printed in the town of 
Lancaster in the latter part of the year 1778 
Washington was first called "the Father of His 
Country." It was at once a truthful and a 
prophetic designation, in accord with passing 
and coming events, and soon accepted by all of 
the people. At the close of the war he returned 
to Mount Vernon to his negroes, corn, and 
tobacco, to his horses and his hounds, the latter 


a present from Lafayette ; again became, in the 
language of the Rev. Thomas Coke, "quite die 
plain country gentleman," and, if we may rely 
upon the journal of John Hunter, he "sent the 
bottle about pretty freely after dinner" and 
"got quite merry." 

The war would have been an utter failure it 
it had only resulted in a severance of the ties 
which connected us with Great Britain, and if 
it had left the colonies discordant, jealous, and 
each pursuing its own selfish interests under the 
ineffective government established by the 
Articles of Confederation. The work of 
destruction had been successful and complete, 
but the constructive and more difficult task of 
welding the discordant elements together into 
a vital and effective organism remained. All 
of the South American States succeeded in 
throwing off the control of Spain, and even 
Hayti became independent, but what gift to 
mankind has come of it? Upon the sea of 
human affairs a nation was to be launched, with 
the prospect of large proportions and unlimited 
growth, and again George Washington came 
to Pennsylvania. In the definite movement 
leading up to the formation of the Government 
of the United States of America as we know 
it to-day, no New England State had any 


participation. Delegates from New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia 
met at Annapolis, in the State of Maryland, on 
the nth of September, in 1786, and, after a 
consultation, urged the necessity of a revision 
of the existing system, and recommended the 
calling of a convention, with sufficient power, 
to meet in Philadelphia on the second Monday 
of May in 1787. 

Emerson has well said that *'all martyrdoms 
looked mean when they were suffered," and 
that "when the gods come among men they are 
not known." He might have added that the 
importance of the supreme events in the 
advancement of the human race has seldom 
been recognized by contemporaries. Even 
Shakespeare died without any conception of 
what he had achieved and without any foretaste 
of his future fame. 

At the State House, on May 14, 1787, at the 
opening of the convention, delegates appeared 
only from Virginia and Pennsylvania., Eleven 
days later Washington was elected to preside 
by the votes of these States and those of Dela- 
ware and New Jersey, and at the end of two 
weeks no others were yet represented. What 
the members kept steadily in view throughout 
all of their deliberations, according to Wash- 


ington, was "the consolidation of our Union." 
Of how they succeeded the world has no need 
to be told. From that box, drawn as it were 
by unwitting fishermen out of the sea of uncer- 
tainties and perplexities, came forth a genie 
whose stride is from ocean to ocean, whose 
locks, shaken upon one side by Eurus, on the 
other by Zephyr, darken the skies and whose 
voice is heard in far Cathay and beyond Ultima 
Thule. There was difficulty about the adop- 
tion of the Constitution. Opposition was mani- 
fested everywhere; on the part of men like 
Patrick Henry, of Virginia, and Elbridge 
Gerry, of Massachusetts, it was decided, and 
in some instances intense. One of the New 
England States held aloof for three years. But 
in three months, on the ist of January, 1788, 
Washington was able to write : ''Pennsylvania, 
Delaware, and New Jersey have already decided 
in its favor." After the voice of this State had 
been heard and its great influence had been 
exerted, the result was no longer doubtful, and 
he cheerfully continued : "There is the greatest 
prospect of its being adopted by the people." 

After having been elected President of the 
nation he had done so much to create, he spent 
the whole of his two terms, with the exception 
of a year in New York, in the city of Philadel- 


phia. For ten years this patriotic city, without 
compensation of any kind, furnished a home to 
the Government of the United States. The 
building at the southeast corner of Sixth and 
Chestnut streets was given up to the use of 
the Senate and House and became Congress 
Hall. The Supreme Court met in the building 
at the southwest corner of Fifth and Chestnut 

For seven years Washington lived in a large 
double brick building on the south side of 
Market street, sixty feet east of Sixth, which 
had been the headquarters of Howe. To the 
east was a yard with shade trees, and along 
the front of this yard ran a brick wall seven 
feet high. Next door to him dwelt a hair- 
dresser. All of the important events of his 
administration — the establishment of the mint ; 
the wars conducted by St. Clair, Harmar, and 
Wayne against the Indians ; the Whiskey insur- 
rection, which took him through Carlisle again 
to western Pennsylvania, after a long absence ; 
the troubles over Genet and Jay's treaty with 
Great Britain — occurred during his residence 
here. He had a pew in Christ Church. He 
became a member of the American Philosophi- 
cal Society, and was present at its services upon 
the deaths of Benjamin Franklin and David 


Rittenhouse. He attended the theatre in 
Southwark, seeing the play, 'The Young 
Quaker, or the Fair Philadelphian," and 
Rickett's Circus, and he took part in the 
dancing assembhes. 

He and Governor Mifflin saw the Frenchman 
Blanchard make the first balloon ascension in 
America, January 9, 1793, amid much tumult 
and eclat. Blanchard was described as 
"Impavidiis sortem non timet Icariamf The 
magistrates of the city gave him the use of the 
courtyard of the prison, and the roar of the 
artillery announced to the people the moment 
of departure. Washington placed in his hands 
a passport, which, with a pleasing uncertainty 
befitting the occasion, was directed "to all to 
whom these presents shall come," and author- 
ized him ''to pass in such direction and to 
descend in such place as circumstances may 
render most convenient." He started at nine 
minutes after ten, on a clear morning, sailed 
over the Delaware, and frightened a flock of 
pigeons and a Jersey farmer near Gloucester, 
where he landed. He prevailed upon the latter 
to come to his help by the offer of one of the 
six bottles of wine with which Dr. Caspar 
Wistar had provided him. Jonathan Penrose, 
Robert Wharton, and six other Philadelphians 


chased after him on horseback and escorted him 
back to the President, to whom he presented his 
respects and colors. 

Washington had sixteen stalls in his stable, 
generally full, and was a hard driver, upon one 
occasion foundering five horses. He wore 
false teeth, in part carved from the tusk of a 
hippopotamus. The Stuart portrait, which has 
come in time to be the accepted delineation of 
his features, was painted at the southeast corner 
of Fifth and Chestnut streets. Every Tuesday 
he gave levees, and on New Year's day served 
punch and cake. Once he picked the sugar 
plums from the cake and sent them to "Master 
John," later in life to be famous as the Old Man 
Eloquent. When James Wilson, Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, opened the 
Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, 
and in the true sense began legal education in 
this country, December 15, 1790, it was in the 
presence of George and Martha Washington. 
In this city he wrote his Farewell Address, and 
here he was described as ''first in war, first in 
peace, and first in the hearts of his country- 
men." He left Philadelphia March 9, 1797, 
and two years and a half later he was dead. 

The cloth is woven. The story is told. 
Through no accident was it brought about that 


Washington, though he was born and died in 
Virginia, spent in such great part his mihtary 
and official Hfe in this State. The cause was 
hke that which took Napoleon from Ajaccio to 
Paris, Shakespeare from Stratford to London, 
and Franklin from Boston to Philadelphia. 
''Every ship," wrote Emerson, ''is a romantic 
object except that we sail in." Self-respect is 
a saving grace in the state as well as in the 
individual. Patriotism, like charity and all 
other virtues, begins at the hearthstone. When 
the Shunamite woman was urged to come to 
the court of Solomon, her answer was, "I dwell 
among mine own people." After the earliest 
of the great and good men of the Aryan race, 
he whom we call Cyrus, five centuries and a 
half before Christ, had overcome all of his 
enemies and had founded the most extensive 
empire the world had known up to that time, 
he inscribed over the gateway of his palace only 
the simple words, "I am Kurush the King, the 
Achaemenian." There is need of more of that 
spirit in Pennsylvania. We too lightly forget 
our achievements ; we are too ready to desert 
our heroes ; we are too willing to leave our 
rulers unsupported; we read with too little 
indignation the uncanny and untrue tales told 
by our rivals elsewhere, and repeated and 
reprinted by the unfaithful at home.